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Friday, March 15, 2013

Dreaditing

I have finished the Dragonwand story. I have mentioned that several times already. Okay, so I finished the first draft. There is still a lot to do from here. Editing involves many, many things. It isn't just screening a piece of writing for grammatical flaws. Editing includes tightening up the story, fixing scenes that simply don't work, adding what is needed to make the story better. A lot of writers find editing their own work is difficult, but I am not one of them. I love it. Now, I will always tell everyone that you should show your work to several people before you officially publish it in any way, especially if you are presenting it to an agent/publisher for their attention. But, it is your story, it is your work, you should be the first and last to edit it. Of course that is my opinion.

What I do is spend my writing time each day on editing. I will go through ten to twenty pages, sometimes more, and just read. Along the way I fix the writing where I feel it falls short, or is too wordy. If I am reading along and see a passage that makes little sense to me, I can't image it will make any sense to another reader. 

The next step is the most painful, but also the most important for the polishing of your work. Structure editing. I let someone else do that, for I miss the obvious grammar mistakes since in my brain the story flows perfectly. My first editor is my most critical, my mother. She is willing to tell me where something doesn't make sense, is just stupid, or needs to be rewritten. How is this painful you might ask? Well I am glad you asked. It is in this step that your work gets its first review. You have spent months, sometimes years writing those characters, that story, envisioning the scenes, smelling the flowers, tasting the food. You want to be there, you want to have lunch with your main character. Now, someone is going to tell you that there are flaws in your masterpiece....HOW DARE THEY! Well, after the steam settles down, you realize that this is highly important for you want others to enjoy the book, and if your very first reader finds issues that need to make the book better, listen to them. You don't always have to agree. Sometimes mom makes suggestions that I simply don't comply with, but that often comes with difference in tastes. But, I never, ever let my feelings of pride in my work let me ignore her suggestions, for that is a fools way of living. 

The pain continues, but it's getting better. The next step for me is to put my work in the hands of another editor. Recently I have had a friend who is a retired English teacher go after my work. This truly is just structure editing, not story editing. Very seldomly has she made any suggestions about story content, and when she has it has just been how something is said, not what is said. So, I can handle it. More often than not, she is correct and her suggestion simply clarifies a sentence. 

After all that, I go through it again, reading along as I put in the corrections suggested to me. It is at this point that I am doing the final editing. So, I started the process and I am ending the process. 

Do I dread editing....not entirely. But, I always prepare myself for it. I know it has to be and so I simply grin and bear it because it is the tempering of the story that refines it into a book. Thus, I declare a new word...which has probably already been made up....Dreaditing, a necessary form of pain for the betterment of bookkind everywhere.




And since you got through that and did not fall asleep or decide to check facebook, here is a picture that has absolutely nothing to do with editing......or dreaditing. 






p.s please don't edit this post just to be funny. It's the internet, you should be glad that I use complete words.






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